Epochs, Evolution, Nationalism, and Synthesis: What Gives Anarchists The Best Chance At Reaching AnCapistan?

Various historians, philosophers and political scientists (Kuhn, Hegel, Marx, Fukuyama, etc…) have noticed an interesting series of historical patterns that repeatedly pop up over the course of human events. And that is that humans move, collectively, in stages, shift from one societal set of thoughts to others. But one thing that I have noticed with my 20/20 vision is that while these epochs produce largely different outcomes, at their core, they are similar enough, if not even practically the same. Or at least based on some understood premises that allow the shift to be made from one epoch to the next. For instance, going from a geocentric model of the universe to a heliocentric model of the universe doesn’t work in either case if the world is flat, and we live in a snow globe, right? Both sets of premises are based on the idea that we live on a round planet, and that things are moving. The change in epoch wasn’t so drastic as to move us from a round, moving universe to a stationary, flat one. That’s too big of a leap.

Same with politics and economics. Marx correctly labeled the historical progression of various economic systems, and with the advent of capitalism, we see the previous systems just made more efficient. They aren’t radically different. Before the invention of fiat money, we used silver, copper, and gold coins. Before using money, we simply traded our goods. But each new “epoch” in economics just took a previous premise as true, and then made it better. And just like we use fiat money now, we are moving faster and faster into the realm of digital currencies, with things like bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum breaking all sorts of milestones. Still money. Still fiat, effectively. Sure, it’s not paper. But it’s still based on a subjective and perceived value of itself that everyone respects, and it is used for trade. Politics works the same. No matter which political system we’ve had, the premise was this – human behavior can be, and should be, regulated. No matter how wrong these premises are, literally every form of external government – i.e. the state – has operated on this foundational premise. Monarchies, democracies, republics and communism. This idea is not unfamiliar to anarchists. It’s why we label any form of government which isn’t self-government “statist.” This is because, ultimately, they are. So just because most of the world has moved to democracy, it doesn’t mean we’ve moved to the “end of history” as the famous political scientist Francis Fukuyama once proclaimed.

It may even be that life itself works in much the same way, for the individual.  And as I wrote about in part 1 of this series, people aren’t going to be willing to jump through rings of fire to something so radically different from what they know now to get to ancapistan. It doesn’t fulfill their hierarchy of needs. It takes away their sense of stability, and perhaps even a part of a sense of their very identity. We need some epochs to come our way first before we can reach ancapistan. And I think of ancapistan is the goal. At least for me, it is. As I’ve said before, this blog is dedicated to mapping out the ins and outs of what ancapistan looks like. But one area that I and many other anarchist philosophers have neglected, is how we get from where we are now to where we want to go. And I think anarchists, particularly of the right variety (individualist, libertarian, capitalist, etc…) ignore this on purpose. We’re not immune to cognitive dissonance, or implicit bias with our views. We can have our ideals, and we’re determined to get there straight away, from a to z. But I believe we can be a little too naïve about the next, necessary steps.

Let me ask you something, and be honest – As an anarchist, which is worse? Political Globalism, or Political Nationalism? Not economic globalism/nationalism. Not cultural globalism/nationalism. Political. Which is worse? Correct me if I’m wrong in this assumption, but does this question make you uncomfortable? Are you squirming in your chair right now? “How do I get out of answering this?” you may be wondering. Well, let me help. I’ll ask a different question. What gives an individual a better chance at freedom? Living under a federal system of government, like in the United States? Or under a confederation of states, like the Confederacy, prior to the U.S. adopting the constitution?

If your answer is the latter (and it should be, as an anarchist friend recently wrote to me on Twitter “decentralization to the point of individualism”), and this is true, it stands to reason then that federal system is worse for individual liberty than a confederate. Or at the least, it is probably easier to attain greater levels of liberty the smaller forms of government we have. This was the whole idea behind the American experiment, anyway, right? This was a major point of contention between Jefferson, Brutus and the Anti-Federalists as they debated the Federalists, no?

Having worked through that, let me pose this question again: Which is worse? Political Globalism (think bigger governments over greater swaths of territory – that dreaded “one-world” government, for example) or Political Nationalism? If we’re being honest with ourselves, the answer is obvious. Political Globalism is worse than political nationalism. Political nationalism allows a greater chance for the individual to find some semblance of liberty than within a political globalist sphere. The smaller the leviathan, the bigger the individual. As anarchists, we are acutely aware of this. When the individual is his own government, their individuality is much more radiant.

But here’s the problem with that: As I stated in the beginning of this article, and have alluded to in both part 1 and 2 of this series, people will not be willing to jump from the statism we have now, with multicultural nation-states, and international governing bodies and regulatory agencies, to straight anarchy right away. The shift is too stark, and represents too great a leap for mankind to latch onto. History proves this idea time and again. Instead, we would need something smaller, something more palatable first, that keeps some basic premises similar to what people already understand, while simultaneously introducing smaller and smaller forms of government, until at last we abandon it completely because we’ve transitioned far enough for people to have understood that we don’t need any government at all. But as much as Anarchists loathe to admit, the fact remains, the majority of any given population simply is not ready to make that jump. There are too many cultural, ethnic, and political barriers in the way.

So I am proposing something different. You’re probably asking “did 3PA just become a Nationalist Publication?” Bear with me here, and allow me to explain. But the short answer is…

Nope.

At least not in the way that you think. (And even if, is that so bad if it gets us close to true anarchy? Watching individual nations take back their own sovereignty is not a bad thing. And it won’t be long after that people begin to see how what applies to nations applies to them, in this regard, especially when you take into consideration modern events and contexts. The individual person, like an individual society and culture, are all sovereign. Brexit was a great example of this. Seeing Merkel come out and say that Germany “could no longer rely” on the U.S. and Russia, while not meant necessarily as a national sovereign idea, is an interesting statement.) <— Digression – let me get back to my main point.

It is my belief that the Western Identity, a philosophical identity, is under attack. Can anyone honestly dispute this? Western ideals in the form of an appreciation for and a fostering of honest scientific discovery, philosophical debate with an emphasis on reason, honest questioning of societal dogma, progress based on merit and nothing else, a love and encouragement for the arts, discipline, traditional masculinity and femininity, a voluntary sense of obligation to family, our children, and seeing them raised well, and egalitarianism are all under attack daily. Whether it is the destruction of the family (not even the traditional family, anymore. Family life, period, is under attack and seen as “oppressive”), belligerent SJWs telling us that the pillars of western identity are tyrannical, or radical feminists claiming that men being masculine (man’s biological imperative, science tells us) is somehow “toxic,” or any other host of ridiculous claims made by these and similar groups, it is easy to see that my claim here is not without merit. No, it is, in fact, true that the very foundations of the Western Identity are under attack constantly, and I think that, regardless of your race, gender, religion, or whatever identity you claim, we can agree (I hope) that the West, as an institution, should be protected. Its ideas, legacy, history, and people should and must have a place in this world, especially if we are to finally attain our ancapistan. And if you do believe that, allow me to introduce to you a new type of anarchy. One based on both ideals, but also a basic understanding of human history, human psychology, that has as its stated goal the attaining of a true anarchist society. It is a philosophy that understands deeply the sentiment made by F.A. Hayek when he stated “Paradoxical as it may appear, it is probably true that a successful free society will always in large measure be a tradition-bound society.”

Anarchy doesn’t need to be redefined. The pillars are stable. What it needs is a new foundation, those very foundations that allowed the philosophy of Anarchy and Liberty to appear on the world stage in the first place. The Pillars are strong. The Foundation is crumbling. Notice that nothing I said was “racial.” That isn’t to say that biodiversity doesn’t exist; it does. It is a very real thing. But more important than that is the fight to keep the western identity alive, regardless of race. That said, what I am about to introduce to you does have some things to say about racial identity, especially in the West. And if that, or anything from the previous paragraph appeals to you, then let me introduce to you a new form of Anarchy that I have been wrestling with for months now.

Welcome to Alt-Anarchy, or Anarcho-Culturalism.

So what is it? Well, I will be revealing more and more pieces of the philosophy in the coming months, but how about a basic idea? If these ideals are palatable to you, you may be an adherent of Alt-Anarchy:

Alt-Anarchy, or Anarcho-Culturalism, is a form of anarchy that posits that an anarchistic society is possible, but only if it applies a working understanding of human history and basic human psychology to the belief. Like many historians and philosophers before it, AA’s (or AC’s) believes that politics move in epochs, each epoch similar in premise to the one before it, but taking politics in a slightly different direction. AA’s see that progression inevitably headed towards Political Globalization, and the destruction of western liberal identity is paramount for this to succeed. Once that destruction happens, the leviathan will be ripe for its final evolution, allowing it to cover the globe completely. Some cultures and people are willingly accepting of this, others are being used as tools to further this goal, and other cultures are among its first set of victims, precisely because those cultures represent this enemy’s biggest threat. This is why we see the kinds of attacks we have been seeing in the last few decades, all having at their source the same interested parties. Alt-Anarchy does not necessarily see Western Culture as superior, but merely worth protecting. Those not of Western Culture are encouraged to adapt Alt-Anarchy to their cultures, especially if there are significant overlaps with Western Thinking. AA’s understand that, as difficult as it sounds, disdain for global governance may take the form of an implicit support for national sovereignty instead. The eventual dismantling of the E.U., for instance, would be a good thing for the peoples of Europe. Relating to the previous points, Alt-Anarchy posits that the ideal of anarchy is largely a “white” idea. What that means is that, historically speaking, it really has only been “white” philosophers and theorists who have believed it was something worth achieving, and it has been largely only popular in Western Cultures. Congruent to that, it will likely only be achieved at all in the Western world, which is adds another reason why we should concentrate in the West. Non-Western peoples of all nationalities – emphasis placed on the peoples of Eastern Europe, India, Iran, China and their relatives, especially (which will be explained in future posts) who wish to adopt the same liberty-based ideals for themselves are encouraged to join us. This is not an exclusionary philosophy, just one based on some hard realities. Alt-Anarchy believes markets are the peoples’ best means of attaining the quality of life they perceive is best for them. In other words, an Alt-Anarchy is an advocate of capitalism, and all that it entails. Alt-Anarchy is anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-authoritarian. It views the marketplace of ideas through debates, discussion, argumentation, and philosophical dialogue as the best venue for a given society to determine its values, not in the courthouses or legislative buildings of governments. Using the law as a “teaching mechanism” is not only immoral and unjust, it illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature – a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. Let people be free – free to experiment, try new things, and not be weighed down with cumbersome legislation meant to dissuade innovation and progress. Alt-Anarchy is open to debate, and not to be boxed in, forging allies in other realms of anarchy. Transhumanists, individualists, libertarians, capitalists, or primitivists will always find allies and friends within the AA philosophy, and might already be adherents to those ideas while also being AAs, and vice versa. Other, non-mentioned varieties of anarchist thought are not necessarily excluded unless they seek to impose their will on others via force. For these types, Alt-Anarchy loudly opposes. Alt-Anarchy proposes that some cultures are worth protecting, worth defending, even over other cultures, especially if there are foreign cultures trying to impose their will on host cultures. According to the U.N. definition, this is a characteristic of genocide. Alt-Anarchy believes this to be the case as well. Cultures which willingly utilize murder, theft, or other abuses of liberty are contrary not only the ideals set forth by Alt-Anarchy, but of all reasonable people in the world. Paul Joseph Watson correctly observed “some cultures are better than others.” That said, cultures can, and should, evolve, and get better. Alt-Anarchy does not shy away from this truth, and instead of concentrating on putting down other cultures, would rather concentrate on its own, fostering its own, teaching its own, bettering its own, and letting that be an example to all other people who wish to similarly progress as well. And Alt-Anarchy encourages this as well. The more the merrier.

I think that about sums it up, although I may have unintentionally forgotten some points about this philosophy. That said, in the upcoming weeks and months, I will be fleshing this idea out more and more, with more articles geared towards describing not only the one pillar I haven’t discussed yet, but also the steps on the foundation. I will be talking about why those are important and necessary for success. I will also be describing further the progression after this political nationalism over political globalism is achieved. The aim is to always foster and protect the smallest minority, the individual. But to do that, we might sometimes have to band together. Anarchists of any variety understand this, and this is why we seek out like-minded friends to talk philosophy with. The old adage is true, even within anarchy – there is strength in numbers. And ultimately, if the goal is to create a real anarchist society, we must have great numbers. I think one thing that I will add is another idea some might find more controversial, but I hope you will still ponder on it a bit, even if you discard it in the end.

I think that the belief in fostering and protection the individual is the paramount reason people become anarchists. But there seems to be an aversion to joining collectively. I find this to be somewhat odd, considering there is nothing in the history of the word to suggest that becoming part of a “collective” is necessarily bad. So long as there is no violation of the Non-Aggression Principle, the act is voluntary, and no abuses of liberty occur within that movement, or to others outside of it, what is the issue? Aside from strict anarch-individualists, I can’t honestly say I really understand the problem of accepting an identity that places you firmly within a given group. The irony is that even claiming the mantle of “anarchist” does this very thing. And based on the etymology of the word “anarchy”, the word was always described in a political sense, never in a societal sense. Anarchy means no ruler, or no leader. Such as a society that has no kings, or politicians. The anarchy of late middle ages and renaissance very much had a “collective” component to it, and this continued all the way until the 19th and 20th centuries, especially as some of the first “modern” anarchists were socialists. There is nothing wrong with banding together under a common identity to fight off and defend against intrusion. Banding together doesn’t necessarily mean socialism, thank the gods.

Alt-Anarchy is not an “anti-collective” society, to repeat. However, if the collective sees itself as more important than the individual, then it does. But if the society’s sole purpose for existence to is to foster, sustain, and protect individuals, then there is no problem. Just don’t violate my liberty, k? Pretty simple, I think.

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Some Realizations about the Similarities of Religion and the State

So many of us anarchists routinely call Statism a religion in its own right. And it is. It has its own robed high priests and priestesses (Judges, Congressmen and women, and Senators, etc…). It has its own holy scripture (constitutions, bills, etc…). Its own prophets, priests, and cardinals (Presidents/Prime Ministers, Local Officials like Mayors, etc.…, and Governors). Its own religious relics, holy sites, temples and temple mounts (think things owned on display in museums by famous world leaders, memorials to politicians, the White House, the Bundestag, Buckingham Palace, the Vatican, our Mount Rushmore). Its own hand gestures held in prayer (think instead of arms folded, or clasped hands, we have our hands over our hearts as we pledge allegiance to a holy relic cloth thing we hang everywhere). And there are so many more similarities, that I could go on forever.

Have I driven the point home yet? Nothing we haven’t all thought before, right?

Statism is a religion.

Ok, moving on, but keep the above in mind.

When Aristotle or Plato talked about “politics,” what they were talking about was a given society. “Politics” was the interactions between individuals on a societal level. We call this the body politic.

From here, it isn’t a stretch to then define “politics” as the “theology of a society, which gives rise to government.” In other words, there exists a spiritual, or “eternal” religion (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc…) and a “temporal” religion. And both of these “religions” have their own set of ethics, their “ought to’s.” We call these laws, or commandments, but they are the ways these religions command us to live. And if we don’t…?

This “temporal” religion, thankfully, we can escape after death. If you’re an atheist, then you’ve got neither to worry about upon death.

But both “religions” have this one distinguishing, and abhorrent feature in common (especially the big monotheistic 3 – many others do not have this characteristic, and those are not included):

Both threaten the individual with violence if you do not convert and submit.

It is “convert, submit, or die.”

Or “convert, submit, or burn in hell.”

Either way, it is convert, submit, or have violence inflicted upon you.

Now we all know that an idea that requires violence to back it up is not a very good one. We’ve all seen the meme. We all agree with this premise.

But here is a further thought I had never considered before.

I think Christianity, while it has built Europe, fostered it, nurtured it, and has been generally good to it (minus the eradication of my pagan ancestors – but that’s a blog for another day. 😉 ), it may actually be the most psychopathic of the main 3.

Why?

Because while the same rules above apply between the big 3, Christianity takes it a step further by introducing the concept of salvation from sin through saying “God does all this because he loves you.”

In other words, God murdered his own son, and threatens you (due to his own admitted jealousy) with eternal damnation, and goes to the length of murdering his own child… because he loves you and that child.

What the fuck?

God’s proof of love for us is the murder of his own son and eternal damnation for the rest of us if we don’t acknowledge this? I’m sorry, but that is just straight up psychopathic.

Statism and Religion are effectively two sides of the same coin.

Convert, submit, or have violence inflicted upon you, either in this life or the next.

Realization: I will not acknowledge any entity that effectively forces my sustaining belief of it

Now I know many believers in the big 3, especially Christianity, will say that “nobody forces you to be Christian.”

Sure – Just like “nobody forces you to pay taxes.”

I pay taxes not because I believe in the institution or principle. But because I can do better for the cause of liberty (I’m assuming here) out of prison or not being killed by a firing squad, than I can by being in prison or dead.

Is this not true?

So while politics is the theology of a society for the here and now, religion is the theology of a society for the hereafter.

With all that implies and comes with.

Doesn’t that just piss you off?

I want to be clear – I am not against Judaism or Christianity. Nor am I against freedom of worship. And Christianity has been particularly good for the world, as a whole. None of these religions come without hiccups of course. But also remember that Buddhism never had inquisitions. Taoists never murdered their own spiritual leaders. Hindus don’t typically start holy wars. I do truly love virtually all religions, in some capacity. I simply have less respect for some over others because of the theological implications, and their similarity to the religion of Statism. I, myself, am both religious and spiritual.

But also for myself, I simply do not acknowledge as “good” ideas that effectively force upon me violence if I deny their tenants, whether it comes from the state, or a clergyman. I just won’t.

Sorry not sorry?

No. No apologies.

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Identity and Anarchy, Part 1

When you look in a mirror, what do you see? A person. An individual. Male or female? What skin, and hair color? Do these identity markers matter?

What do you do when you want to be seen as an individual, but significant components of the world not only refuse to see you as an individual, but instead lump you in with some sort of outgroup? And many portions of the world either want that out group dead, or at least abolished in some capacity?

What is an anarchist to do?

There’s strength in numbers… Do I live to fight another day, and perhaps use that time to spread the ideals of anarchy by willingly wearing that outgroup identity, at least if the world will see me couched in it anyway?

Or do I say “no, I am solely an individual” and get bulldozed by the onslaught that is coming because I look like somebody who belongs to this outgroup?

What I’ve been thinking a lot of about lately is this concept of identity. And I’ve got like… a dozen half-written posts trying to explore my own thoughts, and figure out exactly how I want to present what I’m effectively trying to say. Maybe they’ll get finished, but maybe they won’t. I don’t know. But maybe I can attempt here to at least cut to the chase.

We have 2 kinds of identity – one chosen, and one not chosen. A non-chosen, or involuntary identity marker could be something biological – like race, gender, or sexual orientation. A chosen identity is one which is inherently voluntary, and willingly placed upon your own shoulders, and claimed as your own by you. Perhaps a religious identity, or a political affiliation.

For me, here are a few of my involuntary (but no less accepted as real and valid) identity markers, or identities: Straight, Western-European descent, male. Here are some of my voluntary identity markers or individual identities: Anarchist (too many hyphens to count at this point), Philosopher, Skeptic, Heathen, 49ers fan, Foodie, Wine and Beer Connoisseur, etc.

Of the two identities, is one more important than the other? To the classical liberal in me, I have always said “yes.” My chosen identities are far more important to me. For the most part, I still find this to be true. I am my choices, ultimately. I like to think that the things I’ve pondered about, wrestled with, and agreed to have more weight to them than those identities I was born with.

As I said, I still find this to be true, but there is a difference now.

We currently live in an age where everything is up for question, even our very biological makeup. People can be transgendered, or transracial, or so we’re told. Our genitals don’t define our gender (I disagree, but that’s beside the point), our skin color doesn’t indicate or give hints to our race, and sexual orientation is on a spectrum of… well… the sky’s the limit, apparently. Again, I don’t personally believe this nonsense, but that’s the western world at this point.

And if everything is up for question, then it all needs answering too, and those things we thought are inherent identity markers – race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. — need affirmation. I am being asked to identify with a characteristic about myself that I have known is inherent in me, as if I need to agree with what I has been forced on me, as if I had a choice to deny it, or something.

I can’t stress enough how much I disagree with this notion, but I do think that in this day and age, perhaps it is important to publicly proclaim it, however.

And not only are we constantly bombarded with this social justice notion that all of this is nurture and not nature, those of us who have certain identity markers are being told these are inherently bad.

White? Bad. Heterosexual? Bigoted. Male? Sexist.

Well… fuck.

And we all know there are various groups who are banding together to fight anything that can be misconstrued as “problematic,” whether or not those particular identity markers are as important to you as they are to them.

We live in a time where recognizing the “inherentness” of your biological gender, race, and sexual orientation is as much a political statement as it is a scientific one.

Which is patently absurd, but the battle lines are being drawn on these grounds.

Which means I can no longer say “I am a straight, white, male,” and it be purely a biological statement of fact. Against some types of people, these are now fighting words, words of opinion, and are up for debate.

Or destruction.

So what do you do? If you reaffirm one of these new “political” identities, you are somebody who needs to be eradicated. But if you view these identity markers as biological, then it is absurd to think you can “choose” to be anything other than what you are. As Lady Gaga once said (in the 1950’s apparently) “I was born this way.” It used to be that to question somebody’s identity was “offensive.” Remember when people questioned if homosexuality was a choice or it was inherent? And homosexual people rightly were offended at the notion that they would choose a life as difficult as the one they experienced? Remember that?

Now, apparently, it is all a choice, and if you choose the wrong ones, you are deemed an outcast – or a sexist, misogynistic, racist. Granted, it wouldn’t be a problem if it were just a few wackos telling you that being white, or male was “wrong,” but it is no longer just a few wackos. It’s still wackos, but powerful ones. It’s governments. Countries. Entire communities of people are dedicated to hating you if you are the wrong gender, or the wrong race, or any other “wrong” identity. I know my readers know precisely what I am talking about, too. If you’ve watched even one lame social justice warrior cringe video by some marginally successful YouTuber, you know what I am talking about.

If you follow me on Twitter or my personal account on Facebook, you may have noticed an increase in seemingly random questions and polls recently, as I try to wrap my brain around the implications of these events.

As an anarchist, I would normally say something like “ya… try being an anarchist. Everybody hates you. The individual is the most oppressed minority there is.” And this is true.

But nobody is trying to outbreed anarchists.

Nobody is looking to tear down “Anarchist culture and society.” There are no laws (yet…) that limit the free political speech of anarchists. Anarchist symbols aren’t equated with racism. There are no “anarchist allies” who appear in lame rap videos to critique “fellow” anarchists about some ridiculous social justice idea, yet come to find out are actually on the opposite side yelling “Ya! Take THAT, you Anarchists! Your ideas are problematic and oppress other political minorities!” There aren’t significantly large quantities of Twitter users using the hashtag “kill all anarchists.” There are no political “minority” groups saying that displaying any of the various anarchist flags is “offensive.” This isn’t happening.

But there are groups and ideologies that are diametrically opposed to men. The legal system in almost all western countries, especially as it relates to family law, are so biased in favor of women that many cases see abusive mothers with a plethora of destructive behaviors get custody of their children over a father who is present, stable, and loving. Certain kinds of crime reflect the same mentality.

How many times have we heard of women getting off with a slap on the wrist after raping a boy, sometimes repeatedly over the course of multiple years?

What and you think this is relegated only to the legal system?

It’s societal.

How many times have you seen a ridiculous BuzzFeed or Huffington Post article lambast the sexual objectification of women, and then the same writer will have a different article titled “The top 10 sexiest abs in Hollywood,” or “the best bulges on Twitter,” or something equally ridiculous? We’ve all seen instances of this, have we not?

Anarchist men – what do you think of this? Is this ridiculous to you? Perhaps you feel it is a hypocritical double standard? But as an anarchist, are you allowed to feel that way? Or do you not care, one way or the other?

Anarchist men – as anarchists, do you identify, or relate to, your fellow man better than women? If so, why? Does it have anything at all to do with the fact that you both have a penis (at least presumably – again, 2017 – I just never know anymore)? Or is it something more intrinsic than that? Shared male experience, maybe? Or perhaps it’s just the fact that being male presents certain opportunities, certain experiences, certain life situations, pitfalls, successes and failures that only other males will understand? And if you identify with males better than females, does that make you a “male supremacist?” Or a misogynist? If not, why not? Ever think about it?

If you’re an anarchist, are you allowed to feel kinship to other men over women? Isn’t this “group think” or a variation of “herd mentality?” Are you allowed to identify as a male, with being male, and living as a male? Doesn’t the individual identity come first?

If you weren’t already… I hope I’ve got you thinking.

Next time, I plan on going further down the rabbit hole. Stay with me.

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Philosophical Musings: Socrates – My Favorite Ancient Philosopher

I’m just going to write with the assumption that you likely have read Plato’s works, and know what Plato says are Socrates’ words.

So Socrates believed that the ultimate good was virtue – here defined as moral excellence. A virtuous person is one whose character is made up of those moral qualities that we accept as virtue. Aristotle would later go on to say that people need a moral exemplar to show them how to live. This person, like Socrates suggest, would embody those virtues that a given society accepts as virtues.

But the whole point was that these virtues weren’t the ends of themselves. Socrates believed that the way to true happiness was to live according to these virtues. Examples of those virtues, or ethical characteristics, could be things like courage, justice, prudence, temperance, etc…

But at the end of the day, “virtue” isn’t the goal. Virtue is a place holder for a list of ethical characteristics that tells us a person is moral. And even then, the point is that when a person lives by and exhibits those virtues, then he is happy.

It’s a “if this, then that” scenario, and if that is the case… then the goal isn’t virtue. How is that the ultimate good?

Instead, wouldn’t it be the ultimate path?

And if the ultimate good is happiness, doesn’t that make Socrates a Hedonist at worst, or an Epicurean at best?

Given the nature of Socrates’ means for happiness, I think we can drop hedonism as the explanation. So we are left with epicureanism?

What do you think?

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Taxation is Theft! So… Tax the Government?

Seriously though–

I would love to see government shrink to the point of non-existence in my lifetime. While I don’t see that happening (starting a “new country” that is anarchist, however, I do see happening) in my lifetime, I wouldn’t mind seeing government begin to tax itself. Maybe someone like Rand Paul, or Justin Amash could introduce a bill that taxed government on all revenue, all appropriations, all budgets, and then again on all expenditures.

How long would it take, do you think, for government to learn to be more efficient (it has no incentive to do so currently, after all), or at least learn to spend money with more discretion and purpose?

I’m not a fool. I don’t expect for a second for something like this to ever occur, even with Republicans controlling the house. It’s a statist game with statist players, after all. And the leviathan’s purpose and only goal is to grow and grow and grow. Never to shrink.

But I can dream, can’t I? Has to start somewhere, right?

Eh, well… I like the thought of “stealing” (it’s not, fundamentally) from the government.

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Tarentino, Nazis, and ANTIFA: Our Propaganda Problem

If you haven’t seen “Inglorious Basterds” by now, you really should have. But just in case you haven’t, here’s a basic premise. A squad of Jewish Nazi killers plan an assassination attempt on Hitler at the premiere of Joseph Goebbels’ latest propaganda movie. The propaganda movie, of course, depicts the Nazi cause as just and noble, and Jewish people as villainous monsters. In it, a Nazi gunman heroically stands his ground as a sole survivor against encroaching enemy forces, single handily taking out 200 soldiers with expert precision, and a love of country and countryman that might make Captain America say, “Okay, settle down now.” After the short movie concludes, there isn’t a dry eye in the audience. The people are clapping, Hitler is crying; it’s all sorts of emotional. Of course, it’s designed to illicit disgust from us as the audience, as we watch these Nazi’s revel in their propaganda. Surely, we aren’t disgusting savages like these Nazi’s, after all.

Of course, that’s where one meta-theory of the movie comes into play.

The movie is about a Jewish hit squad, who violently and brutally kill Nazi’s, after scalping them. And audiences loved it. It’s entirely fictional, but it can be argued that it is a representation of what we “wished” had happened. Like the propaganda piece from Goebbels, nothing about the film is true. Yet we clap and cheer as Hitler is riddled with machine gun bullets, Christoph Waltz’s cowardly character, after trying to cheat his way out of death, is violently scalped at the end of the movie. Every major historical Nazi villain lies dead in a pool of their own blood. And not one hero dies. See? Total propaganda.

The meta-theory suggests that Quentin Tarentino was trying to show how large groups of people can be easily swayed by fancy filmography, decent acting, a moving score, and a depiction of yourself or those like you as heroes, with your other as monsters, or cowards. We love this propaganda movie while we simultaneously groan in disgust at the propaganda movie by Joseph Goebbels. Long story short? People are hypocrites. And we fall for this kind of propaganda all the time.

Just remember this the next time you hear ANTIFA, or some other leftist lunatic or group call people they don’t like “Nazis.”

Wake up from your programming and propaganda. The mainstream media, from CNN, to FoxNews, to MSNBC, and everything in between, are all various forms of Joseph Goebbels. They’re all trying to lead you along. They want you crying, angry, sad, upset, afraid–whatever–at the end of their propaganda.

The very same people who fell hook, line, and sinker for Tarentino’s point are the very same people operating within these kinds of movements (ANTIFA, etc…) now. And they are actively calling for violence against dissident groups.

Don’t be those people, m’kay? Don’t be an audience to propaganda, and then act out your fantasy.

Keep it real, yo.

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